Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Canada (
-   -   Newfoundland or Not (

waltd May 18th, 2003 09:31 AM

Newfoundland or Not
Will be going to the Maritimes in early August. Live in PA and will drive. At this point I'm looking at about 17-18 days for the trip. Is NF doable? If so, I'd plan on at least 6 days, and perhaps 8 for it. Gros Morn seems awsome, and then would drive to Twillinggate area for whale/iceberg excursion and then on to St John for a couple of days. I then plan to take in NS for perhaps 4 days and possibly PEI for a couple. I have kids 13 and 9 so don't want to totally bore them with driving. Is this too optimistic a trip?

Molly2 May 18th, 2003 01:02 PM

Walt,yes, I think that you are being too optimistic! Even discounting travel time, PEI, NS and Newfoundland would be a blur by time your vacation ended. If it was me, I'd concentrate on enjoying the trip to/from NS and save Newfoundland for another trip. Even this reduced itinerary will involve a lot of driving - and possibly some cranky kids!

LaurenSKahn May 18th, 2003 06:30 PM

For 17-18 days including the driving, I agree with the previous poster about limiting yourself to NS, PEI and NB. The distances are a lot longer than they look on the map.

Getting back and forth to Newfoundland involves a very long ferry trip each way.

By the way, I have traveled in NS and PEI and drove. If I were to go to Newfoundland, I would fly there and rent a car as the car ferry costs quite a bit--not to mention wear and tear on the driver (me). I think Newfoundland would be worth at least 2 weeks by itself.

ALF May 18th, 2003 09:30 PM

((Y)) I too agree with the above posters. We took 3 weeks to drive from Boston to the Portland ferry, then across NS to the ferry to Newfoundland (and return). It was a whirlwind trip, and we felt like we missed a lot along the way :-< .

We are looking to go back, on a Newfoundland-Labrador trip, flying into St. Johns. It sure is expensive though, and rental cars are far more expensive than anywhere else in North America. So it's gonna' cost you either way - lots of money, or lots of time.

waltd May 19th, 2003 08:58 AM

Thanks to all. Looks like the consensus dictates against NFLD this go-round. But looks like I can get lots of great scenery doing NB, NS, and PEI. If any of you have any recommendations on places to stay (early August), I'm all ears.

LaurenSKahn May 19th, 2003 11:51 AM

When we ventured out of our home exchange near Halifax, we just stopped at tourist info for a place to stay. Tourism is very well organized in NS and PEI and we were never left homeless. We did our trip in July at the height of the season.

I recommend rafting the tidal bore in Schubenacadie north of Halifax. Wild ride! The river goes from a mud flat to a river when the tide comes in.

pattysuericia May 19th, 2003 03:25 PM

For newfoundland go to this site for add. info:
call toll free at 1-800-563-6353

pattysuericia May 19th, 2003 03:29 PM

nova scotia:

PEI 1-888-734-7529

new brunswick

LJ May 20th, 2003 03:01 PM

I have to (sadly) agree to the advice against NL (Newfoundland/Labrador) this time around. You just don't have time to see the beauty.

I have been living here for a year now and have just begun to really feel I know the place. Saw icebergs this past weekend (August would likely be too late, BTW) and it was amazing. We stood on shore at New Chelsea, Trinity Bay, in 18 degree (celsius) weather, nice and warm and we were close enough to feel the chill of the ice on our faces and watch an eagle fight for the top spot on the berg with a couple of bold gulls.

Then we drove up to Baie de Verte (Concetion Bay)and spent $12 for enough fresh crab legs, caught that morning to feed three people. And that was Canandian dollars!

IN other words, don't cancel the trip to NL, just delay 'til next time.

fwr May 20th, 2003 05:11 PM

Agree with the posts. NS alone is worth over a week. There is just too much too see. I'm going to NF mid June for 7 days. We're flying into St. Johns from Raleigh, NC (Air Canada $410US).
What are the best sights to see in the period of a week? Obviously we need to be pretty selective. We both like outdoor type-stuff. We don't mind driving between sights and spending nights along the way out and back. Any suggestions from experienced vistors or residents?

LJ May 21st, 2003 05:08 AM

To FWR: St.John's itself is a great city with one of the most beautiful working harbours anywhere. Do the walking trails downtown, get up to Signal Hill to see the icebergs, check out the Geocentre, eat at Chucky's in town and the Woodstock Colonial Inn in Topsail, after a trip to Topsail Beach.

Just outside ST. J, go to see Portugal Cove, maybe even the ferry across to Bell Island and go to the tea-room near the docks at Portugal Cove for a very oldfashioned afternoon tea.

In the other direction but still within easy driving distance of St. J, go to Cape Spear, the easternmost point of North America, see icebergs and whales, too, if you are lucky.

Also make time for a vist to Madddox Cove, Petty Harbour and finally Ferryland, sight of the "Colony of Avalon" archealogical digs from 1600's.These latter are all interconnected by the East Coast Trails, a very well tended set of walking trails ranging from the very easy to quite challenging for experienced hikers.Get the book from any of the outfitters on Water Street.

If you are real outdoorsy keeners, you might want to check out Stan Cook's sea-kayaking though mid-June will mean its pretty cold. Alternatively, there a million tour boats for whale-bird-watching or go to St. Mary's Ecological preserve for amazing bird-sightings.

Bring sturdy shoes and warm jackets, even gloves and hats for on the water and you will love this place like the natives do.

Do you know how to tell the Newfoundlanders in heaven? They are the ones asking how to go home. (And, BTW never say "Newf" or "Newfie" to people who live here, I learned the hard way,its considered derogatory)

daisyblue May 22nd, 2003 11:45 AM

I am a displaced Bluenose gal who can't wait to move home again. You will love Canada's east coast; however, save Newfoundland for a trip of it's own. As for what to do, where to eat etc....

Bluenose in Halifax near Ferry Terminal. Great chowder and rice pudding. It's a greasy spoon.
Pizza - Thomasinos in South End Halifax or Salvatores in North End.
Ritzy - Bish in Bishop's Landing or Cafe Chianti (really good and reasonable lunches)
Italian Gourmet (lunch) Doyle Street behind Spring Garden Road (which is the main boutique strip).
Birmingham Bar and Grill on Spring Garden Road.
There is a great area by the Ferry Terminal that serves tons of food and within it (on the water side, to the right) is a great micro brewery.

Early Saturday morning till noon there is a great farmer's market in Halifax, end of Hollis or Lower Water Street. In the Brewery.

The Two Great Pubs (really NS music)
the Lower Deck - a must!
The Old Triangle

Wander around Heritage Properties - the Ferry Terminal area.
Neptune Theater plays are great.

McNab's island for a good hike.

Pier 21 definite spot to go to...was the landing spot for immigrants.

Drive out to Peggy's Cove...30-40 min from Halifax centre and well worth the trip. But don't eat out there. Tourist traps and bad food!

Point Pleasant Park and the Public Gardens in Halifax are both great.

If you have time, drive the 60 min to Wolfville. Sweet area. or 2 hours to Lunenburg, very quaint. They are on opposite shores. Both are easy day trips and are very easy to find! Just go straight once on the highway...anyone can point the way. If you are going to Peggy's Cove, Lunenburg would be easy to get to from there.

In Dartmouth, there is an area called Eastern Passage. Not classy but they have a gorgeous boardwalk around the water and you can get really fresh lobster and awesome Fish and Chips (at the Crick). Don't eat at Boondocks. If you are a clams and chips lover, go to this dive in Dartmouth called John's lunch...actually get take out from there and you could drive 10 min to the boardwalk and eat with nice scenery! There is a golf course neat there called Hartlen Point. Pretty that way.

Hope you love it as much as I miss it!

PS - gloves and hats?! Get real...only if you are from the desert! Fact -there are no igloos in Nova Scotia!

tartantours Jun 1st, 2003 07:11 PM

Dear Waltd this would be the best 6 to 8 days spent NF is an awesome place to visit for sightseeing but also its people make the trip realy worth while my advise to you is JUST DO IT. Have fun.

LJ Jun 2nd, 2003 04:46 AM

DaisyBlue. Hats and gloves reccomendation was for Newfoundland and out on the water; honest, if a stiff breeze comes up offshore, you will be glad you had them.

Gavin Jun 2nd, 2003 02:00 PM

I'll second LJ's sugestion of hat and gloves for water trips in Newfoundland. You may not need them but they don't take much space and it can be cold. There is a reason that there are icebergs there!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:15 AM.